So the iPhone 5 is finally here, and for once, it’s pretty much exactly along the lines of what everyone expected it to be. Larger screen? check. New design? Check. Retina display? check. Ultrafast wireless? Check.
There is also some disappointment in what the phone does NOT have. No Near Field Communication or NFC, and no upgrade to the 8mp camera. And a niggling feeling that this phone doesn’t really warrant an upgrade from its predecessor, the iPhone 4s.
Apple is understandably touting it as “the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone”. But has the company delivered on its usual promise of innovation, or has it become one of the pack?
We take a quick look at what the critics have to say.
John Biggs from TechCrunch admits that the device is not earth-shatteringly different from the iPhone 4S, but states that while the real benchmarks and games aren’t quite available yet, folks who haven’t used the 4S will notice a bump. He is cautiously optimistic however, saying,
We’ll know far more about these phones when we get to really use them later this month but until then I can report that this is a solid and interesting improvement to a solid and interesting phone. Is it a blockbuster launch? Probably not, but it is an interstitial launch that allows Apple to update the screen size and dock connector while still hiding some tricks up its sleeve.
David Pogue seems far more impressed in his ‘first impressions post’ for the New York Times.He loves the new design, and he’s happy with the panorama capability of the camera, calling it the best he has ever seen. He also seems reasonably wowed with the other features, though with the disclaimer that he has not tested them yet.
The ‘only cause for pause’ according to Pogue, is the new lightning connector which will make “hundreds of millions’ of gadgets redundant, and the high price of the adaptors.
Dan Cooper of End Gadget says, “It’s not that I’m underwhelmed by the hardware, but after being locked out of Siri 12 months ago, I was hoping for a revolutionary leap that was a little more future-proof”. However he says he’ll still probably give in and ‘buy the thing’.
Zach Honig of the same publication says that he’ll probably stay with his Android device unless “Apple somehow manages to convince carriers to make prepaid nano-SIMs accessible in even the most obscure locales”.
Joshua Topolsky of The Vergeis really vague, limiting itself to a very surface-level review of the new features. The most opinion he ventures is, “It’s obvious that the iPhone 5 shares the same design language as the iPhone 4 and 4S before it, and it’s clear that Apple was very careful when it came to modifying that chassis. Jony Ive said so himself during the event. There are plenty of improvements, but there are also a lot of similarities.”
The Next Web has several pieces centering on the device. Matthew Panzaring has spoken to some app developers, who have expressed some apprehension that the larger screen size could pose some trouble for them. He has also done a basic review, in which he says that the best feature of the device is its improved battery life.
We’ll get more detailed reviews once everyone has had a chance to play with it more.